The various strikes affecting the United Kingdom are disrupting Christmas

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After two virtual Christmases due to the pandemic, Britain is preparing to spend a New Year’s Eve marked by transport strikes, postal workers and inflation, which reached 10.7% last month.

From our correspondent in London,

Charlotte, warm in her navy down jacket, opens the door to her café. It overlooks the Christmas market with wooden huts adorned with decorations in red tones. The shopkeeper was supposed to have boarded a train to join his family, but the strikers decided otherwise. Exceptionally, she will drive to her parents’ house…

I don’t want to depend on the train because I never get home, and I didn’t want to depend on the post office either, I went shopping in the store. Christmas hasn’t been the same this year, it doesn’t even feel like Christmas says Charlotte.

But the luminous garlands light up this small medieval town with half-timbered houses and cobbled streets. It attracts many tourists during this period, but this year there were half as many as usual, laments this thirty-year-old. ” Usually everyone shops at this time even in the evening, this year no one did, the shops didn’t stay open because they couldn’t pay the staff anymore. »

A “stressful” year

Anthony is standing on the other side of the square with a bag in one hand. ” I have my mother’s gift… It’s a face soap and a candle “, he says. This lawyer says he is a little affected by inflation. There will be presents under the tree for everyone except the one they ordered online. He had forgotten about the postman’s strike. ” It was sent a week ago but I still have nothing says Anthony.

A few minutes from the Christmas market, a choir has set up shop in a pedestrian street. Carry listens with her son William. They snack on sweets from a large plastic bag. This year has been stressful, his mother says.

It was necessary to reduce expenses due to the increasing price of fuel and electricity, also to reduce the number of gifts “, she explains. “ We always take a few days off for Christmas, but this year we won’t, it’s sad »,

Save money for the holiday season

According to the Salvation Army, one in five people may have gone to a food bank to make Christmas dinner… And millions have planned to save up for the holiday season. Almost half of the population has reduced its consumption, explains Harry Kind, a member of the consumer association Which, which has just published a study on the subject.

Whether it’s offering fewer gifts, cheaper food or even a quarter of people intending to stay at home instead of going out to see friends and family. The bills are so much higher than last year; energy alone is twice as expensive, people have to find 1200 euros more just to pay their energy bill. As for food prices, they have increased by 20%.

Plus 22% even for the traditional Christmas turkey… So much so that many Brits admit they are skipping this year…


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